The Backpage Term 2 Week 7

Recently there has been an increased awareness of the role that psychology plays in performance. A recent trip to my favorite bookstore had me choosing between sport psychology books on grit, resilience, growth mindset and a number of other topics that are currently popular.

The description of an athlete as being ‘mentally tough’ has probably existed as far back as we have been playing sport but I question: Do we know what mental toughness is? And can we teach it?

In Victor Frankl’s amazing book, Man’s Search For Meaning, he tells the story of his journey through a concentration camp and then theorises what allowed for his own mental toughness. He points out that his ability to endure was based on two things:

  1. Finding a task and setting a goal that drew on all of his imagination and talents.

  2. Embracing the hard work and the struggle to achieve this goal as important as the achievement itself.

Psychologist Suzanne C. Kobasa, in one of the largest studies ever done on the psychology of injured athletes and their likelihood to return to sport, determined that those who displayed a level of mental toughness by viewing overcoming the injury as a challenge and taking control of their environment by focusing on hard work and the little victories in the process were more likely to return to play.

What I love about both of these examples is that mental toughness is not something that is just fixed or that we are born with. The focus here is on setting challenges and taking responsibility for being in control of the environment.

The Scots training program is designed to challenge boys, give them the appropriate feedback to set goals and then take control of their environment by working on their weaknesses and maintaining their strengths. With a mindset of setting challenges and then overcoming weaknesses I have no doubt the boys will build what both Frankl and Kobasa would describe as mental toughness.

Over the next few weeks I will be promoting the Mind Body Heart sessions that will run throughout the next term break. It is our intention to keep this program fully operating and available to all boys in the College. Please encourage your boys to set themselves training challenges for the upcoming holidays and take control of their environment by attending these sessions.

A good Saturday of Sport with some positive results across all Sports. A great day of Rugby on the main oval with our teams looking in good form at the right time of the season. Good results from the 16s in both Football and Rugby are signs of good things to come. Our Cross Country boys have remained undefeated with their fifth straight win while extending their lead in the AAGPS premiership race and our Volleyball teams had some great performances at home in the Den.

This Saturday is a rare break from sport. Have a great week of training, enjoy the break and come back ready to compete.

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From Ed White, Senior Sportsmaster 

Another great weekend of Sport.

Rugby had some fantastic results against Shore and The Armidale School. The 1sts and 2nds had big wins against a Shore team that beat Newington the week before. The 3rds lost a close game to TAS 1sts. 

Well done to the 13Bs who continue to win, as they beat TAS 13As 34-5.

Cross Country again picked up more points and are really pulling away from the rest of the GPS.

Football had a tough day out verse a very good team in Newington. The 16Bs were the shining light with a 1-0 victory.

This weekend we have a Sport-free long weekend and then next weekend we play Joeys away in Rugby and Riverview at Football.

From Brent Wilsmore, Prep Sportsmaster 

Hard work is key to succeed in sports. “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up” - Vince Lombardi. Watching the strong performance of our U9s Rugby in Round 6, what stood out to me was their commitment. The opposition couldn’t match the inner drive of our boys who were clearly putting their heart and soul into all they did. To reach your potential as an athlete you must have a strong work ethic. High achievers are dedicated to work hard even when they don’t enjoy some of the tasks, because they are committed to the efforts necessary to succeed. I believe it is this dedication and commitment that is central in our Schools sporting success. I encourage all boys to commit to achieving a dream, dedicate yourself to working hard to achieve your goals, and most importantly, have fun while doing it!

It was great to see all boys wearing pink socks for their Round 6 fixtures in support of the McGrath Foundation. Thanks to the tremendous support we raised over $7,500.

No Prep fixtures this week due to the Queen's Birthday long weekend.


The highlight this week was the generous support shown by boys for Pull On Your Socks day. This was a fundraiser for the McGrath Foundation which contributes towards assisting families impacted by breast cancer. Scots has supported ‘Pink Stumps Day’ in the past and it was great to be further involved during the Winter Sport season. Well done, boys!

As a result, the fixtures over the weekend had a real carnival atmosphere about it and this was demonstrated by the energy from all teams. We now have a weekend off before returning for the final round of the term on the Saturday 17 June. It will be important to maintain focus over the next couple of practice sessions to ensure we finish Round 7 strong.

Mr Greg Clarence

Preparatory Football Coordinator 


It was great to see that all boys and a number of coaches embraced the Pull On Your Socks campaign this past weekend, the boys were proud to ‘pull on your socks’ and support such a great charity particularly considering the link between the McGrath Foundation and Scots.

Whilst results aren’t the focus of Sport in the Prep School a special mention must go to both the U9s and U11s age groups who both, after the midpoint of the season, are yet to lose a game. This being said the focus and commitment at training to become better has not decreased and I’m sure will see these results continue for the second half of the season.

Mr James Bruce

Preparatory Rugby Coordinator

From the Director of Athlete Development and Pathways

It is with great pleasure to acknowledge the representative honours for the following senior students:

  1. Xavier Lenior - Volleyball NSW U19 Team

  2. Ziggy Tosic - Basketball NSW All Schools 1st Team

  3. Ted Ferguson - Basketball NSW All Schools 2nd Team

It is great recognition of each athlete’s passion for their sport, the planning and preparation that takes place behind the scenes and the unwavering support of their programs, coaches and parents. Congratulations to all involved.

The proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” embodies the life of an emerging thinking sportsman. Whilst you generally only read about superstar athletes and their influential coaches, the collection of individuals who play a direct role in the formation of the individual is usually under sold. Scots Sport recognises that a thinking sportsman is connected and accountable to wider communities, in the formation of the intellectual, physical and emotional development of a student. Such connectivity exists both domestically and globally. The Thinking Sportsman Pathway is great evidence of bridging Scots Boys with pathways in academic, athletic and industrial contexts.

Whilst it's a unique story, future NBA Hall of Fame player, LeBron James, reportedly spends $2,000,000 per year on his physical and emotional development and maintenance as arguably the most well known athlete on the planet. LeBron prides himself on his preparation, longevity and life balance as an athlete, husband and father. The entourage of consultants and specialists from all fields are invested into the process of ensuring LeBron James continues to play a significant role in the world of sport for many years to come.

Story of The Week - Prep CIS Rugby Trials

On Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 May five boys from the Prep 1st XV - Finnlay Bartlett, Thomas Browning, Charlie Dixon, Phoenix Johnston and Hudson Weir - attended the CIS Primary Boys Rugby trials at Christison Park. The trials were held across both days with the squad being cut from 120 to 45 from Day 1 to Day 2, two of the five boys from Scots got selected to return to Day 2 of the trials with both boys making the final squad of 22.

Congratulations to Finnlay Bartlett and Charlie Dixon who will form part of the NSWCIS team to compete at the PSSA Championships held in Port Stephens later in the year. 

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Mr Graham Pattison

Director of Sport